Wow. There’s unpretentious and then there is Boston Bakery on New Upper Changi Road. Walking into this quaint hardly-changed neighbourhood bakery was like stepping into my childhood in the 1990s. I am truly shocked that a store like this still exists, but it’s a pleasant shock.
Air-conditioning? Who needs it? The single table fan perched atop a bun cabinet behind the counter covers the entire store. I guess. Fancy signboards? Meh. All the information you could want is conveniently printed on the laminated A4 sheets sticky-taped to the shelves.
For good measure, there’s even a line of watermelons in a side shelf at eye level, resembling soldiers in their uniformity and green colour. I haven’t eaten anything from Boston Bakery but my mouth is almost hanging open and I already love this place.
Finding it wasn’t difficult— it was the classic case of following the lovely aroma. It smelt so good!
What I tried at Boston Bakery
My first choice was the Yam Bun (6 for S$2.40). It was peppered with black sesame seeds and tore apart with ease to reveal its light lilac treasure. That taste was pleasant, mild and not so sweet. Flavour-wise, I would describe it as similar to orh nee, except not as oily.
We then tried the Curry Bun (6 for S$2.60). Oof. After the mildness of the yam bun, the virile curry flavour of the potato filling was a sizzle.
However, it is strong but not not spicy so even someone like me with a sensitive tongue can tahan. This actually turned out to be my (and my colleague, Aaron’s) favourite.
I chose the Coffee Bun (S$1) because, as all my family and friends know, I like coffee, that’s it. There is no filling (which I would have preferred) in this bun except for a little bit of butter. This bun is light as a feather and the coffee essence is entirely in the base. I must say we’d expected more of an intense coffee flavour, so that was slightly disappointing. But for the price, I can’t complain— this is a decent bun.
When I took a bite of my Fish Burger Bun (S$1.60), it felt like I was literally transported back to my school days. The taste was exactly like how I remember my school tuckshop burger bun.
Somehow, the combination of frozen fish patty, mayonnaise and chilli sauce triggered exactly the same taste buds from all those years ago. My oh my!
I can have dessert after having a lunch of buns, right? Yes, Pavin, you may. Because you write so well.
After that conversation in my head, I decided to buy a Banana Cake (S$1.20). I’m glad I did. The banana flavour was just nice; some bakeries overdo the intensity and that can be a bit unpleasant. What I loved most was the combination of pillowy, sponge-like interior contrasting against the crispy corners. Yum!
There’s a waffle station at the store, so you know each one is made fresh for you.
They also sell a range of kaya spreads. And, of course, watermelons.
Boston Bakery is as nondescript as you could wish, tucked away under a block of flats in a relatively quiet area. Their creations, though, aren’t weighed down by location and aesthetic considerations.
While it can’t quite compete with premium bakeries, there is no shortage of quality and flavour. When you factor in the price difference, I would say that the coin falls in Boston Bakery’s favour. My 4 buns and 1 cake cost me just S$8.80!
At least some part of my favourable decision is based on its nostalgic character. Both the bakery and the shops around it took me back to my school days, me being led by the hand by my grandparents to buy bread after school. The kindly mandarin-speaking uncle at the counter is endearing, too.
I’ll definitely return, this time on a mission to try out their waffles!
Expected damage: S$1 – S$5 per pax
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